Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ACORN Obama Axis Update

Further thoughts and links.

ACORN is a "community organizer" master-reseller whose "downstream" contractors are regularly convicted for voter fraud. The fraud is habitual and formulaic, not accidental and creative. ACORN engages otherwise hard-to-employ individuals to register cartoon characters, dogs and dead people as voters.

ACORN is at least as good as Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition at using the race card to shake down businesses (Banks, in ACORN's victim-industry niche.) for cash and to force loans to be made to people who can't pay the money back. The Chicago based inventor of this tactic, ACORN executive Madeline Talbott, calls it "affirmative action" for loans. I'd call it predatory thuggery perpetrated on both borrower and lender.

All this is well known. So is it fair to connect any of this to Barack Obama? If you think the company a man keeps over decades, for whom he expresses great fondness and to whom he substantially contributes money is a connection, then the answer must be "Yes."

I'm not saying Obama directly participated in ACORN's protection rackets or voter fraud. I am saying he knows about it (how could he not?), and therefore tolerates it. I'm saying he shares ACORN's radical socialist philosophy. I'm pointing out that he worked for ACORN and funded ACORN. I'm contending the attempt to use the bailout bill to funnel money to ACORN was no coincidence, nor was a similar provision in the $300 billion mortgage bailout bill passed in July.

I'm giving the evidence that Obama's campaign paid $800,000 to Citizens Services Inc., an ACORN captive corporation, between Feb and May 2008 - and grossly misrepresented the purpose of the payments in the FEC filing. I'm saying Obama wanted to hide the ACORN connection.

Since Obama has argued that his executive experience is proven by the fact that he runs the campaign, an $800K decision can't be blamed on staff.

FEC reports show that from February-May 2008, Obama paid $832,598.29 to CSI.

The payments were for:

$310,441.20 25-FEB-08 STAGING, SOUND, LIGHTING
$160,689.40 27-FEB-08 STAGING, SOUND, LIGHTING
$98,451.20 29-FEB-08 TRAVEL/LODGING
$74,578.01 13-MAR-08 STAGING, SOUND, LIGHTING
$18,417.00 28-MAR-08 POLLING
$18,633.60 29-APR-08 STAGING, SOUND, LIGHTING
$63,000.00 29-APR-08 ADVANCE WORK
$105.84 02-MAY-08 LICENSE FEES
$105.84 02-MAY-08 LICENSE FEES
$75,000.00 17-MAY-08 ADVANCE WORK
$13,176.20 17-MAY-08 PER DIEM

Interesting services and payments for a nonprofit that supposedly does simple canvassing work on behalf of low-income people. And now, the Obama campaign is going to wave its magic wand and change those services to get-out-the-vote work? What the…?

For your information: The New Orleans building that houses CSI also houses multiple chapters of ACORN and the SEIU– as well as the 527 group Communities Voting Together.

And for your information: A tipster points to shady business by CSI -detected by Maryland Democrat Al Wynn, of all people. His team, which filed an FEC complaint over the matter, linked several suspicious outfits used by his primary opponent to one address: 1024 Elysian Fields in New Orleans. That’s the address of CSI and ACORN.

...There is at least one other example of suspiciously large payments to Citizens Services, Inc. that call into question what kind of work this non-partisan, non-profit is doing.

See here, where liberal group Ohio Citizen Action notes a $907,808 payment to Citizens Services for canvassing and $590,526.10 for “campaign consulting.”
I'm saying Obama knows about this:
Another pre-2007 ACORN document instructs its staff:

Undocumented income is a feature that allows ACORN Housing counselors to capture the applicant(s) total household income. Primarily observed in minority and immigrant communities, this type of income is not reported to the IRS and is also known as under-the-table.
... and is OK with it.

I'm saying that the presence among his advisers of Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson, both disgraced CEO's of Fannie Mae, who both got multi-million dollar golden parachutes, is at least bad judgment and very likely continued political collusion. Fannie was a prime conduit between people who took loans they couldn't pay and the likes of Bear-Stearns. Fannie worked hand in glove with ACORN. Obama still works hand in glove with Fannie's detritus. Jim Johnson was head of his VP search committee until the Fannie connection surfaced.

If someone will argue that a politician raised up by the hard-left Chicago machine, of which ACORN is an integral part, is not aware of these connections; that person might also have to grant that the politician couldn't possibly be considered for any higher office than Drain Commissioner.

Documentation and more info at the sites below.

Newsmax

I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work. — Barack Obama, Speech to ACORN, November 2007
NY Post
ACORN's political arm endorsed Obama in February and has ramped up efforts to register voters across the country. Meanwhile, completely ignored by the mainstream commentariat and clean-election crusaders, the Obama campaign has admitted failing to report $800,000 in campaign payments to ACORN. They were disguised as payments to a front group called "Citizen Services, Inc." for "advance work."

Jim Terry, an official of the Consumer Rights League, a watchdog group that monitors ACORN, noted: "ACORN has a long and sordid history of employing convoluted Enron-style accounting to illegally use taxpayer funds for their own political gain. Now it looks like ACORN is using the same type of convoluted accounting scheme for Obama's political gain."
NY Post
... Obama spent many years cultivating ties with, working with - and even funding - the very folks who pushed for the risky lending that underlies the current mess.

That is, "community organizer" groups like ACORN.

ACORN is especially noteworthy, not only because of its prominence in the drive to relax mortgage requirements, but also because of its shady tactics.

And its links to Obama.

Various ACORN chapters across the country, led by folks like Chicago's Madeline Talbott, staged in-your-face protests in bank lobbies and filed complaints meant to hold up mergers sought by targeted banking firms.

Unless the banks agreed to ACORN's terms - which many (understandably) did.

Talbott & Co. generally wanted them to ease down-payment requirements and ignore weak credit histories. And their intimidating tactics often necessitated police action, as at a '97 protest at Pulaski Bank & Trust in Arkansas, where activists blocked drive-through lanes.

The movement's biggest victory, of course, came when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac began buying up the riskier loans - providing fresh incentive for banks to make even more of them.

No need to recount where all that led.

Meanwhile, Obama was right there by ACORN's side all along.

"I've been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career," he told the group last November.

Indeed, in the early '90s, Obama was recruited by Talbott herself to run training sessions for ACORN activists.

ACORN also got funding from two charities, the Woods Fund and the Joyce Foundation, when Obama served on their boards, and from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge - the radical "education reform" outfit Obama ran from '95 to '99.

Ironically, the group stood to be a key beneficiary of the goodies Democrats were loading into Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's rescue plan - including one demand that 20 percent of any profits the feds make from reselling mortgage securities go to fund groups like ACORN.
No Quarter USA
Obama claimed he has no ties to “a group he did some legal work for” back in 1995. Let’s look into that claim.
* In 1995, Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar balked at implementing the federal motor voter law out of concern that letting people register via postcard and blocking the state from pruning voter rolls might invite vote fraud. A young lawyer named Barak Obama, a community organizer himself, sued on behalf of ACORN and won. ACORN later invited Obama to train its staff on voter registration drives.

* In 1996 Obama ran for Illinois State Senate and ACORN became his precinct organization, identifying and turning out the vote.

* When Obama served on the board of the Woods Fund for Chicago, the Fund frequently gave ACORN grants to fund its agenda and voter registration activities.

* In 2004 ACORN operates as Obama’s precinct organization in his run for the U.S. Senate.

* In 2007 ACORN’s national political arm endorsed Obama for president, and its “nonpartisan” voter registration affiliate starts registering hundreds of thousands of voters for Obama.

* Obama claims he has no ties to “a group he once did some legal work for.”

* In July 2008 the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, along with NoQuarter researchers, exposes the lie by uncovering $832,598.29 that the Obama campaign funneled through a front company called Citizens Services, Inc.

* ACORN, which receives partial taxpayer funding, used those funds to conduct solicitations for contributions to and raised over $800,000 for Obama in Philadelphia alone.
And some new evidence of fraud just in from North Carolina:

RNC rips group registering voters
Ray Gronberg
Durham Herald-Sun - Sep 20, 2008
requires registration
Durham County Board of Elections Director Mike Ashe wants state officials to check about 80 voter registration forms for possible fraud.

The forms came from a group called the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. The group is more commonly known by its acronym, ACORN.

...Ashe's move this week came after elections officials discovered that ACORN workers had registered a 14-year-old, claiming the youth was born in 1989. The minimum voting age is 18.

They also knew of "less than half a dozen" people who, after receiving a formal notice from the board telling them they'd registered, got in touch with officials to say they'd never filled out a registration form, Ashe said.

In addition, election workers also noticed that ACORN-submitted registration forms so far have included up to 125 duplicate names. It appeared that ACORN registrars -- who are paid and subject to a per-shift quota -- were using the same names repeatedly, Ashe said.

...Ashe said the group has ignored his advice against hoarding registration forms and using highlighters to mark them. It's given election workers up to 1,200 forms in one stack and by using highlighters has caused the elections staff "a lot of extra work."
The more things stay the same, the more things don't represent "change."

See also:
Consumers Rights League
Check out James Terry's testimony.

RottenAcorn
Check out the fraud map.

The Real ACORN
Check out The Ghost of Rathke lingers
ACORN is suing itself and Wade Rathke is still involved with ACORN.


Update: 6:23PM 1-Oct-08Stryker, Rockfeller, Detroit Schools funding story linked to ACORN consulting firm
What this portends, I do not know. But it isn't anything positive.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Down 777? Frankly ACORN, I don't give a damn

You want affordable housing? Well, you're getting it. Maybe instead of extorting money from the government and banks, and converting thousands of good renters into bankrupt home "owners," you could start your own lending company. Find your own money from now on.

The bailout failed today, and I guess that means more market uncertainty. Well, given the first Bill and the fact we've gone from 3 pages to 110, I can accept that. I'm on the side of the House GOP. Make it right, or don't do it. If taking out "Golden Parachutes" was important, so is resisting the abject socialism the Democrats keep attaching.

For example, one objection from House Republicans last week was a provision to give the Housing Trust Fund 65% of 20% of any profits which might accrue from the $700 billion in bailout "loans."

"Housing Trust Fund" is code for giving hundreds of millions to ACORN (
Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), a major beneficiary (along with its wholly-"owned" shadow "non-profits" and fellow travelers) of grants from the fund.

ACORN already receives 40% of its funding from taxpayers, $16 million of which they spent on voter registration in 2006, committing fraud along the way. They already had a windfall in July as part of $300 billion in loan guarantees bailing Freddie and Fanny out. Along with other major earmark goodies, there was nearly $5 billion for affordable housing, financial counseling and mortgage restructuring for people and neighborhoods affected by the housing meltdown. ACORN's housing corporation, does a large share of that work. They got paid to break it and they're getting paid to "fix" it, in every sense of the term.

Democratic Ally Mobilizes In Housing Crunch
ELIZABETH WILLIAMSON and BRODY MULLINS
The Wall Street Journal - July 31, 2008

George Bush was embarrassed to sign the "Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008:" Bush signs housing bill in private, but he thought it was "the best he could get." Frankly, I'm sure the bill defeated today wasn't even that good.

If people actually appreciated what the GOP House members have done over the last several weeks (remember off-shore drilling?) there would be a GOP House majority elected in November.
The House and Senate Democratic drafts contain an indefensible and well-hidden provision. It would mandate that at least 20% of any profit realized from the sale of each troubled asset purchased under the Paulson plan be deposited in either the Housing Trust Fund or the Capital Magnet Fund. Only after these funds get their cut of the profits are "all amounts remaining . . . paid into the Treasury for reduction of the public debt."
House Republicans insisted ALL the profit, if there is any, would go to pay off the public debt.

This gets more interesting when you examine ACORN's history of fraudulent voter registration, lax accounting and hypocrisy.

Let's take these in reverse order. ACORN is certainly a major lobbyist for Federal grants supporting bad loans, second only to insisting on living wage laws.
ACORN promotes ballot initiatives and local ordinances to force businesses to pay higher minimum wages, as they are currently doing with the minimum wage proposal in Amendment 5. In 1995, however, ACORN sued the state of California to have its employees exempted from the state minimum wage. ACORN argued that being forced to pay higher wages would mean that they would hire fewer employees -- the very dilemma faced by businesses. Incredibly, ACORN stated that paying its employees a lower wage would allow them to be more sympathetic to the low- and moderate-income families they were attempting to help. ACORN argued that abiding by the state minimum wage would limit their ability to promote their agenda and would therefore be a violation of their First Amendment rights.

The trial court judge dismissed ACORN's suits, stating, "leaving aside the latter argument's absurdity ... we find ACORN to be laboring under a fundamental misconception of constitutional law."
In that trial, ACORN was arguing in that it be allowed to pay workers less than the minimum wage of $4.25 an hour. The "living wage" they were arguing for for other people's employees? - $9.50. By 2003 ACORN was paying its troops $5.70 an hour (54 hour weeks @ $16,000 per annum). That takes care of hypocrisy.

As to lax accounting, ACORN went to some trouble to cover up the fact that the Dale Rathke, ACORN founder Wade Rathke's bother, had embezzled a million dollars. That was 1999-2000. They covered it up until nailed by a whistle blower this year. Wade only resigned from ACORN in the last few months. Incredibly, Dale left only a month earlier.

Finally, let's talk voter fraud, for which ACORN is the poster child.

Bad voter applications found

Clerks see fraudulent, duplicate forms from group
BY L.L. BRASIER
Detroit Free Press - September 14, 2008

ACORN Workers Indicted For Alleged Voter Fraud

KMBC TV, Kansas City - November 1, 2006

Felony charges filed against 7 in state's biggest case of voter-registration fraud
By Keith Ervin
The Seattle Times - July 26, 2007

Cuyahoga board probes ACORN voter registration drive

Joe Guillen
Cleveland Plain Dealer -August 27, 2008

See also:
ACORN Again, This Time in Cuyahoga County; Shut Them Down
In November 2006, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that “Cuyahoga County has 1.05 million registered voters, which tops the number of adults in the county by 200,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.” Also in November 2006, a Cleveland TV station reported several specific instances where “votes ….. (were) cast by citizens who are dead.”

How can anyone possibly believe that ACORN was able to find another 75,000 eligible voters to register in Cuyahoga County?
NM has suspect voter registration cards (1:19 p.m.)
Las Cruces Sun-News (AP)
September 17, 2008

More voter registration workers under scrutiny
By LARRY SANDLER
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Aug. 20, 2008

Republicans, ACORN feud over suspicious voter cards
BY Marc Caputo
The Miami Herald - September 25, 2008

ACORN employees have also been charged with fraud in Colorado, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.

That's only the recent history. Here's more:
• In November 2003, election board officials in St. Louis, MO, finished their review of ACORN gathered election registration cards. ACORN submitted 5,379 cards in this city, of which only2,013 appeared to be valid. Of these, at least 1,000 are believed to be attempts to register voters illegally.
...

• In Pennsylvania, Reading’s Director of Elections received numerous calls from individuals registered by ACORN complaining that those taking down the voter information deliberately put inaccurate information on the form.
...

• In 1998, a single mother of three in Arkansas was arrested for falsifying approximately 400 voter registration cards. Some of the addresses listed on these applications were traced to vacant lots, boarded-up buildings, abandoned buildings, and nonexistent house numbers. The woman was a contractor of Project Vote, a subsidiary of ACORN. (Project Vote was involved in the scandal that brought down Ron Carey, former president of the Teamsters. In 1996, Carey arranged for a $175,000 contribution to Project Vote in exchange for reciprocal contributions to his campaign for presidency of the Teamsters.)
Overall, I think Abetting Criminally Organized Registration Now might be a better acronym expansion of ACORN.

And that brings us to ACORN's most famous graduate and legal counsel. Barack Obama cut his Community Organizing teeth working for and with ACORN. If you read Barack Obama's resume you will see that for most of his working life (I don't count elected office, though he hasn't been a U.S Senator as long) he was employed by ACORN.
Mr. Obama worked for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now's Project Vote voter-registration campaign in 1992 after graduating from Harvard Law School. He directed a successful voter-registration campaign, credited with electing Carol Moseley-Braun to the U.S. Senate. Primarily targeting African-Americans, Mr. Obama's efforts added an estimated 125,000 voters to the rolls.

He also participated on a team of attorneys working on behalf of ACORN. They filed a 1995 lawsuit, which required the state of Illinois to implement the federal "motor-voter" bill. He still maintains a relationship with the organization. Mr. Obama's campaign had to file amended federal election reports in August. They paid more than $800,000 to Citizens Services Inc. (CSI), an ACORN subsidiary, to turn out for the campaign during the primaries. However, the campaign listed CSI's activities as polling, advance work and staging major events.
Obama, Voter Fraud & Mortgage Meltdown
I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work. — Barack Obama, Speech to ACORN, November 2007

...during his four-year tenure in Chicago as a community organizer, worked as a trainer for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — the infamous ACORN, whose affiliate, Project Vote, is known for voter fraud — the same ACORN from which a mighty mortgage mess has grown.
Obama's company
Pittsburgh Tribune-review - August 26, 2008
The latest matter involves Mr. Obama's presidential campaign paying more than $800,000 to an offshoot of the scandal-ridden, leftist Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) for services the campaign now says it mistakenly misrepresented in federal reports.

The ACORN subsidiary, Citizens Services Inc., did "get-out-the-vote" work instead of the polling, advance work and major event staging the Obama campaign had first stated in its Federal Election Commission finance report during the primary.
Senator Obama's support of ACORN didn't end there
ACORN also got funding from two charities, the Woods Fund and the Joyce Foundation, when Obama served on their boards, and from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge - the radical "education reform" outfit Obama [with Bill Ayers] ran from '95 to '99.
Obama is up to his neck in ACORNs.
ONE key pioneer of ACORN's subprime-loan shakedown racket was Madeline Talbott - an activist with extensive ties to Barack Obama. She was also in on the ground floor of the disastrous turn in Fannie Mae's mortgage policies.

Long the director of Chicago ACORN, Talbott is a specialist in "direct action" - organizers' term for their militant tactics of intimidation and disruption. Perhaps her most famous stunt was leading a group of ACORN protesters breaking into a meeting of the Chicago City Council to push for a "living wage" law, shouting in defiance as she was arrested for mob action and disorderly conduct. But her real legacy may be her drive to push banks into making risky mortgage loans.

... When Obama was just a budding community organizer in Chicago, Talbott was so impressed that she asked him to train her personal staff.

He returned to Chicago in the early '90s, just as Talbott was starting her pressure campaign on local banks. Chicago ACORN sought out Obama's legal services for a "motor voter" case and partnered with him on his 1992 "Project VOTE" registration drive.

In those years, he also conducted leadership-training seminars for ACORN's up-and-coming organizers. That is, Obama was training the army of ACORN organizers who participated in Madeline Talbott's drive against Chicago's banks.

More than that, Obama was funding them. As he rose to a leadership role at Chicago's Woods Fund, he became the most powerful voice on the foundation's board for supporting ACORN and other community organizers. In 1995, the Woods Fund substantially expanded its funding of community organizers - and Obama chaired the committee that urged and managed the shift.

... IN short, to understand the roots of the subprime-mort gage crisis, look to ACORN's Madeline Talbott. And to see how Talbott was able to work her mischief, look to Barack Obama.

Then you'll truly know what community organizers do.

Most can hang 10, some are just hangers on

...and taxpayers are hung out to dry.

American Manufacturing Workers Are World-Class
One of the reasons that there are 6 million fewer U.S. manufacturing jobs today (13.428 million) than in 1979 (19.553 million), an average annual decline of 1.2%, is that American workers have become 4% more productive each and every year.
Except when they don't have to be.

Here's where we save 564 manufacturing jobs from outsourcing to China, for a measly $120 million a year. A plan that sounds as if it came straight from Jennifer Granholm.

U.S. Consumers Are Being Taken to the Cleaners
...this analysis that divides the total cost of the [clothes] hanger tariff to U.S. dry cleaners ($4,000 x 30,000 dry cleaners = $120 million year), by the number of potential domestic jobs saved (564 jobs) in the U.S. hanger industry, indicat[es] that each American job saved costs us about $212,765 per year. Since the typical full-time worker in this sector earns about $30,000 per year, it would be cheaper for the U.S. to eliminate the tariff, purchase cheaper hangers from China, let the domestic industry die, and pay each American hanger worker $30,000 per year to retire.
It's a Notional Security issue, of course, our supply of U.S. made hangers was threatened by the notion that those U.S. voters who make hangers inefficiently should have their jobs guaranteed by government. U.S. hanger know-how is too important to be left ...ah hanging.

Tariff = Tax: On you.

Bush did the same thing with his steel tariffs in 2002:
# For every steel job "saved" as a result of the tariff, eight jobs will be lost in all sectors of the economy;

# The steel producing industry would save between 4,400 and 8,900 jobs at a cost of between $439,485 to $451,509 per steel job saved;
From steel to solar power, from hangers to home ownership, from tariffs to tax rebates, it's government economic micro-management that makes lobbying lucrative.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Obama and the 2nd Amendment

While Barack Obama's minions, both lawyers and elected officials (Governor Blunt lives up to his name in calling the latter out.), are threatening anybody with the temerity to challenge Obama's claim to support 2nd Amendment rights, there is some balance available on the issue here and in the post immediately below.

The NRA ad in question is here.

Buffoonery Joe

Clown Watch should probably have a special category for Joe Biden, he's hard to keep up with.

Biden said that his own campaign's ad criticizing John McCain's computer use was "Terrible." 2 bozos, with a 1 bozo deduction for honesty.

When the federal government announced the AIG bailout, Biden said it was a bad idea. The official campaign stance at the time was neither support for nor opposition to the bailout. 1 bozo.

In Ohio, Biden said he's against clean-coal technology. That was Biden's stance in the primaries, and opposed to the Obama campaign's supposed current stance. 2 bozos. 1 for saying it in Ohio and 1 for contradicting The One.

Biden said that when the markets crashed in 1929, "Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened.' " FDR was first elected in 1932. No consumer television existed in 1929. A bozo for each, and a bonus bozo for ignorance. (3)

Biden says, "We want to take money and put it back in the pocket of middle-class people... It's time to be patriotic, Kate. Time to jump in. Time to be part of the deal. Time to help get America out of the rut." 3 bozos, 1 for the first episode and 2 more for repeating it. (Previously mentioned here, but not tallied.)

Biden claimed the White House sent Undersecretary Of State William Burns to meet directly with Iranian officials in Tehran. Never happened. 2 bozos.

Biden quoted Admiral Mullen as saying the U.S. was not winning in Iraq. Biden: “Barack Obama has long recognized, unlike John [McCain], what the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has recently said. This is not my quote, the quote from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He said ‘We are not winning in Iraq.’ Not, not Barack Obama, that’s a quote from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”

In fact, in July, Mullen, addressing Obama's plan that would remove all combat troops by a date certain, said, "I think the consequences could be very dangerous. I'm convinced that making reductions based on conditions on the ground are very important." Mullen NEVER suggested we were not winning in Iraq.

3 bozos.

Joe "I'm the guy that originally wrote the "assault weapons" ban" Biden said that Obama "Ain't taking my shotguns... If he tries to fool with my Beretta, he's got a problem... I guarantee you Barack Obama ain't taking my shotguns, so don't buy that malarkey." I believe this is probably true. For a privileged Washington DC insider, an over and under shotgun or 2 might survive Obama's intentions to tax ammunition out of existence, ban all semi-automatic firearms and all handguns. It was stupid for Biden to remind us:

...[When] Obama was a state senator in Illinois, ... he supported increasing federal excise taxes on guns and ammunition by 500 percent, banning compact handguns, limiting the frequency of gun purchases, banning the sale of guns (except antiques) at gun shows, charging a person with a felony offense if his gun were stolen and used in a crime, prohibiting people under age 21 from possessing guns, increasing the gun dealer licensing fee, prohibiting dealers from conducting business at gun shows or within five miles of a school or park, and banning police agencies from selling old service firearms to generate funds to buy new firearms for their officers.
When Obama says he supports the 2nd Amendment after he was against it, he's simply lying about the meaning of the Amendment and the word "support." So is Biden:
Biden has voted for, and actively pushed, major anti-gun bills, including those:
* Banning semi-automatic firearms;
* Banning hunting, sporting and self-defense ammunition;
* Banning magazines holding more than 10 rounds; and
* Imposing a waiting period on handgun sales.
Biden also voted against the law that prohibits lawsuits designed to bankrupt law-abiding firearm manufacturers and dealers. And he voted against the confirmation of Supreme Court Justices who support the Second Amendment.

The Brady Campaign sums it up in a straightforward fashion: "Senator Biden has been a consistent supporter of the Brady Campaign." According to the gun prohibition activist group, "Senator Biden was a key player in the fight for the federal assault weapons ban that passed in 1994. He also worked hard for passage of the Brady Law (sic)."
3 bozos. 2 for the reminder to check their 2nd Amendment crudentials, and 1 for clinging to his Beretta.
Total: 18


Obama: 104



McCain: 69

Friday, September 26, 2008

Burning Down The House: What Caused Our Economic Crisis?

Watch it. Share it.

Exposing the Barney core after the Bourse is gone

Barney Frank, staunch defender of corporatist socialism, is lately comparing John McCain to Mighty Mouse for McCain's attempt to "save the day."

Barney should watch out that he isn't compared to Pearl Pureheart. Oil Can Harry would be someone named "Reid," who has claimed McCain caused "the wheels to fall of" the "deal." In fact, if the Democrats require 110 GOP votes in the House, there can't be a deal until they've got those votes. First, let's hear from Barney Frank in 2003:


As Bugs would say, "What a maroon!"

Frank is mainly upset that McCain has exposed the House Democrats as the same lackeys who refused to listen to warnings from Bush in 2001 and 2003 and from McCain in 2005. The House Democrats can't complain that they can't suck up to the President without help from the GOP, when they ignored GOP concerns.

Doesn’t Hang Together
Jennifer Rubin - 09.26.2008 - 7:59 AM

The Democrats need to get their story straight. On one hand, it is beyond dispute at this point that Congressional Republicans were never on board. It is equally clear that the Democratic majority won’t act without the ”cover” of a substantial number of Republican votes–that is they demand that this deal not be done, in Chris Dodd’s words, ”on a three-legged stool.”

So several things follow. First, this is precisely why Hank Paulson and Harry Reid summoned John McCain–to get Republican cover for the Democrats who despite the looming crisis can’t bring themselves to govern (that is, to vote on and pass a bill which they believe is essential). Second, that is why McCain presented but did not endorse the GOP’s wish list of conservative suggestions in the White House meeting. That is how one cajoles and drags along a recalcitrant party–by allowing them to have their say. (From reports it appears that the hyper-empathetic Barack Obama attempted to corner the Republicans, not a comforting sign that he knows how to negotiate with people who are in fundamental disagreement with him.) Third, while it would be nice for the Democrats to drag more Republican votes along, it is highly unlikely that they need as a mathematical matter all 100 Republican votes they have asked for. Whether they get 50 or 100, Democrats almost certainly could pass the Paulson bill in a form acceptable both to the White House and the Senate. But they don’t want to–Chris Dodd told us that.
Rubin didn't mention what this tells us about Nancy Pelosi's leadership.

The leaderless House Democrats can't even suck up to their BASE without cover from the GOP, as evidenced by the Dems similar display of moral conviction in the question of offshore drilling.

Here is more commentary on Oill Can Harry's claims about the "deal" and McCain's actual role:



Monday, September 22, 2008

Clown watch update

Here are some more bozos for McCain on the credit crisis:

While Andrew Cuomo, McCain's choice to replace Chris Cox as SEC head, was secretary of HUD he wanted Fannie Mae in the subprime market.

From a McCain speech: Fannie & Freddy were, "forcing mortgages on people who couldn't afford them."

Mr. McCain’s campaign manager adviser Rick Davis was paid $2 million as a lobbyist for Fannie and Freddie. This looks worse on McCain than Raines and Johnson do for Obama, even if they were consecutive Fannie CEO's. McCain's brand is damaged more.

3 bozos for Cuomo, 4 for the "forcing people to take mortgages" comment and 2 for Davis.


McCain 69.






Obama 86.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Comrades rejoice!

This week we have witnessed the nationalization of the largest insurance company in the world AND the assumption of an unknown amount of really bad debt (I'm guessing a trillion dollars) by the United States government. This means you.

In some ways this is poetic justice, since it's the government that caused the problem, no matter what discussion of greed on Wall Street may issue forth from the Obama or McCain campaigns. This means you are experiencing poetic justice.

Americans have voted, over many years, for the people who created this mess. Americans don't know their de Tocqueville.

The prospects for a successful democracy might be defined in modern terms as directly proportional to the percentage of informed citizens who look to their self-interest beyond the next paycheck divided by the percentage of all those who view themselves as "victims." Call it the democracy/personal accountability acceptance ratio.

There is no country with a high rating, and ours continually degrades. This was a week where some vultures came home to roost.

As John McCain lurches from one contradictory position to another, forgetting even the minimal credentials he once had on economic issues, Barack Obama remains bereft even of "principles" among which to vacillate. The credit market crisis has been illuminating.

On the moderately statist wing, McCain's deregulation credentials have been tossed under the bus in a fit of panic where he pretended calling for the firing of the SEC head actually contributed to discussing the problem. And where's the guy standing up for his vote for Gramm-Leach-Bliley, a deregulation that arguably helped in the current crisis (see the 3 previous links)?

In the statist wheelhouse, Obama hasn't had to distance himself from Franklin Raines (economic advisor) or Jim Johnson (resigned head of VP search committee), both former Fannie Mae CEOs. He hasn't had to answer any questions about lobbyists, despite being recipient of the 3rd largest amount of Fannie/Freddie campaign contributions in his short and unexceptional career as Senator.

The Federal Reserve, the SEC, and especially Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac didn't work right. We had sufficient regulation in place, but populist politics, not the market, trumped common sense.

For example, both McCain and Bush called for reform of Fannie and Freddie as early as 5 years ago.

Here's the lead of a New York Times story on Sept. 11, 2003: "The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago."

Bush tried to act. Who stopped him? Congress, especially Democrats with their deep financial and patronage ties to the two government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie and Freddie.

"These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis," said Rep. Barney Frank, then ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. "The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."

It's pretty clear who was on the right side of that debate.

As for presidential contender John McCain, just two years after Bush's plan, McCain also called for badly needed reforms to prevent a crisis like the one we're now in.

"If Congress does not act," McCain said in 2005, "American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole."

Sounds like McCain was spot on.

But his warnings, too, were ignored by Congress.
The "reform" that did occur was watered down by Barney Frank (see also), who has a lot to answer for.

While we're on Democrats who have a lot to answer for, and while the entire mess can't be blamed on the Carter era Community Reinvestment Act, that Democrat inspired law was the genesis of most of today's credit market problems. It required lenders to issue the type of loans now defaulting. Add to that overly-cheap credit from the Federal Reserve for overly-long, laxity at the SEC in administering leveraging rules for Merrill, Goldman, Morgan Stanley, Bear Stearns, and Lehman, and frost it with cozy government "run" "lenders" encouraging corporatists like Angelo Mozilo.

There was plenty of "regulation," but typically, it was a lack of regulation of politicians that caused the problems. Not the market. Not capitalism.

The regulation of politicians is provided for in the Constitution. It's why they ignore and denigrate it. American's populo-tropism enables them, and it's at the bottom of this reality check. That's why McCain and Obama both took refuge in Huey Long territory in a crisis. That's where the votes are.

So, Obama and McCain each get 50 bozos for their stupid populist pandering.

Obama gets bonus bozos for Raines, Johnson (5 each), his $105,000 in campaign contributions from Fannie and Freddie (2 each) and his redistributionist "tax-cut for 95% of the middle class" when only 40% of those he targets even pay taxes (5 for the socialism and 5 for the newspeak he applies to the term "tax-cut").

McCain gets another 5 for pushing me back toward a 3rd party vote. He reminded me why I dislike him so much: When he self identifies with any problem, there's no limit to his abandonment of principle - including the Constitution (which he's seen fit to trash in the past). A call for regulation from John McCain is a call for the pragmatic
suspension of civil rights.

He gets a 1 bozo reduction for calling for oversight 3 years ago that might have somewhat mitigated Fanron/Fredron.



McCain 60
.




Obama
86.

Barney Frank Update 10:50 PM

And another from Arnold Kling.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Outright lies

I started to note that the Obama campaign gets 3 bozos for Biden's comment that "paying more taxes = patriotism" (1 for the first episode and 2 more for repeating it), when I became aware of the Spanish language ad the Obama campaign, the official "I'm Barack Obama and I approve this ad," campaign is running in Florida, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.

I don't think there has ever been anything this despicable coming directly from a candidate for national office. It's not a gaffe, but a well considered, blatantly racist outrage. Barack Obama approved brazen lies when he approved this. "Bozos" seem totally inadequate now.

Obama diametrically twisted some things Rush Limbaugh said and then attempts to tie the resulting lies to John McCain. A) I thought Obama was down on guilt by association. B) If Limbaugh ever disagreed with McCain on anything it's immigration policy. See here, here and here.

Shameful. I wonder if Univision and Telemundo will report on this?

Update: 6:30AM, 19-Sep. Here's Limbaugh's response.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Guns & Poses

At Michigan Taxes Too Much, jgillman notes that that guy on the radio lately telling us Barack Obama supports Second Amendment rights is a shill for gun-control fanatics: Ray Schoenke, the guy in the “Obama loves gun owners” advertisements..

It all depends on what the meaning of "rights" is, I guess. Obama's actual agenda is examined here.

No surprise about Schoenke. The NRA has exposed this poseur many times over.

One example:

AHSA [American Hunters And Shooters Association] was created with the specific intent to provide political cover for anti-gun politicians by allowing them to claim support from a “sportsmen’s” group. In truth, the anti-gun credentials of AHSA’s leadership is well documented. For instance, AHSA president Ray Schoenke has a long history of giving political donations to some of the most anti-gun politicians, including Al Gore, John Kerry, Barbara Boxer, Bill Clinton, Dianne Feinstein and Ted Kennedy. In 2000, Schoenke donated $5,000 to Handgun Control, Inc. (now the Brady Campaign) and the Ray and Holly Schoenke Foundation also made donations to the Brady Campaign. AHSA Board member John Rosenthal remains the leader of Stop Handgun Violence, the Massachusetts anti-gun group. And one of the leading organizers of AHSA is Bob Ricker, who has been a paid expert witness against gun manufacturers in a number of reckless lawsuits.

...While the NRA counts membership in the millions, AHSA can only claim a few hundred members and has done nothing to advance the issues important to sportsmen. On top of that, in its first foray into Second Amendment issues, AHSA chose to stand alongside one of the leading anti-gun politicians in America: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. AHSA supported Bloomberg’s effort to repeal the law that protects confidential law enforcement data from disclosure that threatens the privacy of gun owners and the safety of law enforcement officers—all so that Bloomberg could use the information in reckless lawsuits against the firearms industry...
If you doubt he's actually anti-Second Amendment, Schoenke's bona fides include regular participation at the Huffington Post.

Definitely a 2 bozo achievement for Obama.

Obama 12.

McCain 6.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Riskophiliacs Anonymous

They're both out of touch, and they both think we're ignorant. Unfortunately, they're right about many of us.

While Barack Obama and John McCain try to out-populist each other by blaming the current financial crisis on the "greedy people" they practically forced to make bad loans by A) always bailing the assholes out, and B) supporting federal policies encouraging loans to people who could not pay them back; there is some unsettling anti-populist news for Obama from the Onion:




Portrayal Of Obama As Elitist Hailed As Step Forward For African Americans

I'm waiting for Charlie Gibson to ask either of these dolts what association tulips have with economics. It's a hell of a lot clearer than the "Bush Doctrine."

The Obama and McCain camps each get 4 bozos today.

Obama gets 1 extra for the MSM participation in his BS, and McCain gets 1 extra for the Keating 5 and another for pushing Sarbanes-Oxley.

Obama 10. McCain 6.

Broken imbed fixed. 24-Sep

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Clown watch

Today, TOC inaugurates "Clown watch," a sporadic examination of foolishness, gaffes and blunders from our major party Presidential campaigns.

I had been intending to start this awhile ago, but didn't get around to it. This delay, as we will see, benefits the Dem/MSM axis. If it had started earlier that team would have established a lead likely to have been insurmountable.

TOC reserves the right to modify how this is scored, but some examples will illustrate how the Dem/MSM bloc would have obtained a commanding lead. One "bozo" is assigned for each gaffe. Repetitions of the gaffe by the gaffer, or official surrogate, earn double the previous score for each day the original mistake is repeated/defended.

For example, Obama's "properly inflated tires would save more oil than we'd get from drilling," earns a bozo for when he first said it and then 2 bozos for repeating it. Then 4 bozos for repeating it again.

Additional bozos are given when the MSM picks up the gaffe and heavily defends it. A bozo for each story would be excessive, and in any case too much work to track, so this score will be somewhat subjective. In our example, I give the MSM 2 bozos for keeping this story alive and 2 more bozos for ignoring objective refutations. (Where it is simply a matter of policy interpretation, semantics or exaggeration, no points will be awarded.)

For the tire inflation episode, then, the Dem/MSM team would have received 11 bozos.

For Obama's "lipstick on a pig" remark: 1 bozo for being unable to recognize the problem when he said it (despite rabid cheers from the crowd) and 2 for repeating it on David Letterman. 1 "above and beyond the call" bozo for describing the "logic" of the comparison to Letterman.

On the GOP side we'd award 1 bozo to McCain for not knowing how many houses he has and none to the MSM. There were McCain defenders, but not among the MSM.

On Charlie Gibson's "Bush doctrine" gotcha, the MSM would get 1 bozo and Sarah Palin 1/2 (As Charles Krauthammer notes, there's good reason she asked for clarification, but stating some version of the Bush doctrine would have been better.)

This brings us to today's inaugural award; 1 bozo to Obama's campaign ad criticizing John McCain for being unable to send an email. The intent of the ad seems to be to paint McCain as an antediluvian Luddite for whom younger people should be embarrassed to vote. If younger people had ever actually voted in the numbers the Dems keep predicting, there might be some logic to it. However, young apathetics independents (Who else will be swayed to vote for Obama because McCain doesn't use email?) appear no more likely to vote in 2008 than has been true historically. Worse, the probability is that the ad will alienate older, more likely voters who do not use email.

That, however, is far from the end of it. It is true that McCain does not email. However, as noted in this Forbes story from May 2000, it's not because he's technologically ignorant.

Chairman of the Senate Telecommunications Subcommittee and regarded as the U.S. Senate's savviest technologist, McCain is an inveterate devotee of email. His nightly ritual is to read his email together with his wife, Cindy. The injuries he incurred as a Vietnam POW make it painful for McCain to type. Instead, he dictates responses that his wife types on a laptop. "She's a whiz on the keyboard, and I'm so laborious," McCain admits.
McCain also can't comb his own hair or tie his shoes because of the torture he suffered 40 years ago. That would have made an even better ad, right? Go for the "disdain for old cripples" demographic.

The same Google search the technically superior Obama campaign failed to run would further have revealed McCain was instrumental in defining internet campaigning. Forbes again:

McCain himself was convinced early on that the Internet had to play a critical role in the campaign. Time and again it allowed him to leverage his money and his organization. "In the Virginia primary," McCain told me, "we needed a lot of petitions signed to get on the ballot. We had the form available to download off the Internet and got 17,000 signatures with very little trouble."
Again, this is from McCain's 2000 campaign. So, the ad is fundamentally wrong in its criticism of McCain's technology savvy, it insults his service to the United States by poking fun at disability and reveals Obama's sloppy ignorance. 2 bozos to Obama. I'm restraining myself.

Finally, because of Sarah Palin, Obama was forced to respond to the executive experience question by claiming that running his own campaign proved his mettle. Further, since he has always contended that his judgment makes him a viable President, he gets points for contradicting his own message twice in one ad. He can't throw himself under the bus, can he?

As of today: Obama - 4 bozos. McCain - 0.

Suggestions for this feature are welcome.

H/T Powerline

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chauvinism sensors

An image of Barack Obama standing next to John McCain at a 9-11 memorial service flashes on the screen. I snort that I think McCain is far more credible in this scene than is Obama.

I am immediately challenged by my wife, "How can you say Obama is less concerned about the death of 3,000 Americans than McCain." I respond by noting Obama's claim that he would have voted against authorizing the Battle of Iraq and noting his actual vote against funding troops already in harm's way.

This was (obviously) a non-responsive knee-jerk mistake. My wife points out that I've given no evidence whatever about how Obama feels about 9-11.

I acknowledge this, but insist there is greater context, "Add the facts that Obama's pastor of 20 years said America deserved the attack, and that Obama had to hear such things twice, that we know about, before denouncing that pastor. Add also Obama's continuing defense of his friend the terrorist bomber Bill Ayers, who "wishes he'd done more"... I think it reasonable to question how serious about attacks on the U.S. an Obama Presidency would be compared to a McCain Presidency. The context of a 9-11 memorial just makes this thought immediate. And yes, I'm questioning Obama's patriotism if that means I think he is considering his own prospects above his country's. Think Aaron Burr."

There it leadenly lay.

A few minutes later, we were watching ABC News' Charlie Gibson interview Sarah Palin. Less than 15 seconds into the interview my wife said, "He really doesn't like her, does he?"

I knew that already. My wife didn't even know who Gibson was. Even forewarned of his bias, however, I could not have pointed out his disdain from watching only that few seconds.

So, women are quite competent in identifying male condescension. Who knew?

I juxtapose these domestic snippets because I think it shows something about certain segments of more-than-likely voters in this election. Before McCain picked Palin we both would probably have voted third-party, but for different reasons. (I was considering a write in for Helen Keller.) Now, I'm likely to vote for Palin. I'm guessing my wife is, too.

Never forget

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Paglia on Palin

Camille Paglia is a very interesting person. Strong supporter of Barack Obama, liberal, atheist, literary critic, author, feminist intellectual, Professor and Ph.D in English from Yale - where she is proud of having been the only openly gay person in the early 1970s.

She counts among her friends Rush Limbaugh and Christina Hoff Sommers.

Here she writes about Sarah Palin and feminism. Very worth the read in my opinion.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Distaff VP candidates

If not for the fact of her Canadian birth (and the liberals were lamenting this barrier to her ascendancy to national executive office just a few months ago) would Obama have considered Jennifer Granholm as his V.P. pick?

Would you?

Not building bridges

Up until yesterday the Alaska Democrats were telling us what happened to the "bridge to nowhere." They supported the fact that Sarah Palin ultimately killed it.

I know the MSM, including the Wall Street Journal (whose news reporting is not at all like the editorial page), is pushing a more nuanced view, but c'mon, would any sane Governor return earmarks to the Feds? She just didn't waste the money.

BTW, both Obama and Biden voted for the bridge as a bridge to nowhere.

...he who fears corruption fears life.

The New Republic
Creation Myth
by John B. Judis
What Barack Obama won't tell you about his community organizing past.


The New York Post
ORGANIZER IN CHIEF
By STEVEN MALANGA
BARACK'S CONTROVERSIAL ROOTS


Life is a corrupting process from the time a child learns to play his mother off against his father in the politics of when to go to bed; he who fears corruption fears life.
- Saul Alinsky, Chicagoan and inventor of Community Organizing

Monday, September 08, 2008

If that's true...

Joe Biden:
I’m prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception.
Then how can you not think abortion is murder, Joe? Fetuses are alive but are not human, and therefore are not required to be protected by the State? Is Peter Singer going to be Surgeon General in an Obama administration?

And so the Canadians led the way...

Michael Yon is in Afghanistan.
...Among the English-speaking troops, there seems to be a sense of mission. American and British officers with experience in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere—leaders whose opinions I greatly value—do not think we are losing here in Afghanistan. Yes, they will acknowledge that the situation is deteriorating, but they still believe we are making progress. And it’s hard to disagree with them (though I do), given the blow that ISAF forces just delivered to the Taliban.

...There were no combat casualties, but one soldier had his pelvis crushed when a vehicle he was working beneath fell on top of him. But that doesn’t mean they weren’t fighting. Anywhere from 200 to 250 Taliban were killed trying to take out the convoy.
Read the whole thing and then hit the tip jar.

How not to write a résumé

Courtesy of Captain Capitalism: a link to RESPONSIBILITIES OF A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER at Wellstone Action! where the current "Strategy Memo" is about getting organized to
...train thousands of people to organize for an economy that invests in clean, renewable energy and creates millions of green-collar jobs.
Not doing any of those green-collar jobs, mind you, training some other people so that they can organize millions of other, other people to actually do them. The "economy" will be making the investments that will create these jobs. What do you want to bet it isn't private capital they have in mind when they say "economy?"

So, straight from the horse's mouth, here's what community organizers do:
8am - Wake up, [2 hours later than I do] knowing that the day ahead of you will require you to work long hours, for little pay, less thanks, and zero credit. [Why CO's don't like a free market.]

Sit down at your desk, or pick up your cell phone, and figure out the people in the community you need to talk to to identify the challenges being faced. [For example, little pay, less thanks, and zero credit.] Set up meetings with leaders and regular people to get buy-in on the proposed solution. [Re-read Saul Alinsky.]

12pm - Make decisions about how best to proceed with your plan for change in your community. [Vote for Obama.] Figure out how you will influence powerful interests without any resources other than your own scrappy resourcefulness and the support of many individuals earned by painstakingly building relationships. [Vote for Obama. He'll make them do the right thing.]

5pm - Figure out who in your community wields power and influence, who doesn't, and why. [Call Bill Ayers and ask him to speak with Obama.] Make hundreds of calls, knock on hundreds of doors, and listen to hundreds of stories in order to bring people together in common cause. [Help ACORN fill out a grant application.] Convince folks to set aside what makes them different [individual responsibility] and focus on their shared interest [government handouts] - it's the only way to build common ground and affect change. [Vote for Obama.]

8pm - Learn from those around you and prepare for the next day. [Assume this somehow distinguishes you from the rest of the world.] Write follow-up notes, make confirmation calls, and thank your volunteers. [ditto] Remind yourself to be tenacious, because the process of change is long and can be slow in coming. [ditto]
Among the comments:
Well said. Guess the Republicans have written off the votes of Community Organizers and anyone who has ever been helped by them! Stupid move!
Oh, sh*t, never thought of that. The GOP is doomed by the literally dozen of community organizers who are going to switch their votes from McCain to Obama. Now New York, Chicago, Detroit, Philly and D.C. are sure to go Democrat. I can see the bumper stickers now,

"I'm a community organizer and I VOTE!"
paid for by ACORN

This guy, for example, sounds like a McCain voter ready to switch:
I am a community organizer that grew up in the Chicago area. This is one of the main things I like about Obama and his campaign. I am looking forward to him being our next (and possibly greatest) president primarily because I know that he will use the tools of empathy, diffusion, communication, and collaboration that he used as a community organizer to make our country better than its [sic] ever been.
"[E]mpathy, diffusion, communication and collaboration..." I don't know about you, but I feel more organized, more "centered" somehow, just reading that. I'm sure America's foes will lose sleep knowing these characteristics define "possibly our greatest president."

Vladimir Putin may even be forced to counter with a snappy new vision statement for the KGB. "Know, Grow, Bro."

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Wishing for AuH2O

When Did Freedom Become An Orphan?
By Steve Chapman
... it's clear that collectivism, not individualism, is the reigning creed of Republicans as well as Democrats. Individuals are not valuable and precious in their own right but as a means for those in power to achieve their grand ambitions.

... [The primacy of individual freedom]... got lost somewhere between Thomas Jefferson and John McCain. What do Republicans believe in? McCain told us Thursday: "We believe in a strong defense, work, faith, service, a culture of life, personal responsibility, the rule of law. ... We believe in the values of families, neighborhoods and communities."

Would it be too much to mention that what sustains the American vision of those things is freedom? That without it, personal responsibility becomes hollow and service is servitude?

Apparently it would.
Indeed. RTWT.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Two Americas

...Two quite different views of Kwame Kilpatrick's overdue demise and inadequate punishment: Here.
"Justice has been served," said Detroit native Terry Lewis, 42, while standing outside the courthouse watching television reporters set up. "He should have stepped down a long time ago; the city could have been moving on with other projects." Lewis now lives in nearby Ypsilanti.

The mayor spent a night in jail in August for violating bond terms related to a charge that he shoved a sheriff's deputy.

Michigan Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, also a Democrat, is the mayor's mother.

"This has been a witch hunt from the start," said Byron Frazier, 34, wearing a T-shirt with Kilpatrick's image on it outside the courthouse. "I've supported the mayor from the start and will continue to support him." Frazier is a community organizer in Detroit.
Now, there is an interesting political implication in that quote aside from Kwame's well deserved downfall. I didn't highlight it, but maybe you noted what Byron Frazier does to earn his daily bread. If you did, you might have started wondering what the per capita ratio of his job title in Detroit, the poorest major city in America, is to anywhere else.

The people of Detroit have been severely damaged by Kwame Kilpatrick. So has the rest of Michigan. You might say our State's community has been disorganized by looters and vandals. Even fools, obviously excepting Byron Frazier and his ilk, can see that is true They want to keep KK around as long as he can help them. That's also why it took until yesterday for Barack Obama to vaguely distance himself from Kilpatrick in a typical "under the bus you go" move.

Sarah Palin stood up to cronyism and corruption in Alaska when it involved her own political party and Big Oil. Do you think she could stand up to cronyism and corruption in America, including especially Detroit, better than a product of big city machine politics? Or even our own Governor, whose job it already is?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Some thoughts on Palin

Sarah Palin and the Two Americas
By Thomas Lifson, RealClearPolitics
I think this is a good analysis. It certainly speaks to me.

The Beltway Boys
September 3, 2008; Page A22 Wall Street Journal
Echoing the first article.

Why Do We Like Palin?
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO
Ditto.

A Clear and Present Danger To the American Left
Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal
A danger, yes. Clear and present, no. Great analysis. The headline disproportionately emphasizes one sentence.

If McCain's campaign does not follow the advice in Noonan's final paragraph the GOP deserves to die. Which is exactly what it was doing - with my blessing - until just now.

Sarah Palin gets the spiteful Margaret Thatcher treatment
By Janet Daley, Telegraph.co.uk
"Like Margaret Thatcher before her, Mrs Palin is coming in for both barrels of Left-wing contempt: misogyny and snobbery."

The hostess with the moosest and Credit where it's due
Mark Steyn, NRO
It's Steyn, what else do you need to know?

The Significance of Sarah Palin
Peter Wehner, Commentary Magazine
"Hillary Clinton still plays the victim card. Sarah Palin gives off no victim vibes. [Palin has] ... grit, determination and character."

Palin: wrong woman, wrong message
By Gloria Steinem, LA Times
"Sarah Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Hillary Clinton."

A logically, and biologically, confused rant about the patriarchal conspiracy. For the entertainment value.

What's So Special About Sarah?

By Daniel Henninger,
RealClearPolitics
I'll bite. She shares two chromosomes with Gloria Steinem but it didn't cause brain damage?

Ann Althouse
on her blog
"When a man agonizes that a woman is "brutally cutting," I reach for my Freud text."

Target Palin
Victor Davis Hansen, Pajamasmedia
The Geraldine Ferraro Democratic Vice Presidential nominee appointment was an inspired stroke of genius that advanced the cause of feminism; Palin’s was tawdry tokenism.

Edwards was a social reformer brought down by the tabloids; Palin’s 17-year-old daughter is white trash and fair game.

Insulting “small town mayors” and “good looking” women is funny; suggesting that “community organizing” is often a farce is a felony.

Obama’s violation of drug laws with a “little blow” was youthful exuberance; Palin’s husband’s DUI was more proof of a working-class messy family.

Joe Biden bravely continued as Senator after the tragic death of his wife and daughter left his injured young sons with a single parent; Sarah Palin selfishly shorted her children by running for VP and endangered her infants by flying while pregnant.

Criticizing Clinton’s engaging in sex in the oval office and lying about it to the American people were once “the politics of personal destruction”; lying that Sarah Palin might not have been the mother of her 5th child is the mere overreach of the blogs caused by the improper vetting of the McCain campaign.
Summed up? Misogyny. Sarah Palin is a traitor to women.

Mr. Jennifer Granholm has some 'splainin to do

Check out the full transcript of Dan Mulhern's interview with Frank Beckman on WJR, courtesy of Right Michigan. Dan thinks women with children of a certain quantity, age, handicap or some undisclosed combination of this feminine weakness, shouldn't run for elected office. Who knew? I bet his wife didn't.

Mulhern on Palin:

I wonder if she knows what she is getting into. Jennifer ran when Jack was about a year old. But that was for attorney general in a little state called Michigan its like being a mayor of a small town in Alaska compared to the sweepstakes she is in now. I would love to hear more from her and especially from her husband to be honest with you. Because she's got a 5 month old down syndrome baby, and a 17 year old daughter who is pregnant now, and what....
RTWT, I include a second link to make it easy.

The Other Club has noted Mulhern's dim perception of reality in the past, but this is incredible, and Beckman just skewers him.

Update: 8:00 PM The audio.

Sarah Palin's speech

You may wish to watch this more than once.

The surge

MSM troops freed up from their relentless pursuit of the John Edwards story and tireless inquiries into who Barack Obama really is, the MSM is surging in Alaska.
Even as she spoke, airplanes in Alaska were unloading reporters and political operatives sent to pore through her personal and public life.
Fortunately, the Maim Scream Media™ don't know how to spell "surge" and they're in hostile territory. A few quotes from old-boy Republican apparatchiks unhappy with her reforms are just what we need.

BTW, there was a story going around that she was once a member of the Alaska Independence Party, which the party has since denied. My question is, Why is that a problem? I wish she had been a member.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Woman's place

Sally Quinn - celebrated inside the beltway doyen, Washington Post columnist, failed TV news anchor, third wife of Ben Bradlee, narcissistic Communion crasher, mother of one and still miffed that Hillary once refused an invitation to one of her famous soirées - apparently didn't get Mrs. Clinton's memo re: "staying home and baking cookies."

Quinn has come to the conclusion that some women should not try to hold a job at the same time they have children. Here's what Quinn has to say, in her column on religion (go figure) about why Sarah Palin should not be Vice president.

McCain claims he knew about the [Bristol Palin] pregnancy, and was not at all concerned. Why not? Not only do we have a woman with five children, including an infant with special needs, but a woman whose 17-year-old child will need her even more in the coming months. Not to mention the grandchild. This would inevitably be an enormous distraction for a new vice president (or president) in a time of global turmoil. Not only in terms of her job, but from a media standpoint as well.

...Is she prepared for the all-consuming nature of the job? She is the mother of five children, one of them a four-month-old with Down Syndrome. Her first priority has to be her children. When the phone rings at three in the morning and one of her children is really sick what choice will she make?
The same choice millions of working women face every day, would be my guess. If Sarah Palin thinks her family is strong enough to go through this, it would be her choice, no?

Maybe Quinn's point is that it's only Republican women who should stay home and bake cookies. I dunno about that, though. A counter example: If a male Democrat, Bill Clinton say, had stayed home and baked cookies during the primary campaign, maybe Hillary would be the nominee.

The other question that arises about male Democrats is how Joe Biden can justify being a single father who daily makes a three hour round trip commute to be home with his children. How can he possibly be ready to be Veep?

We'll await a critique of this misogynist outrage from Gloria Steinem, but don't hold your breath.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Unforced error II -the condescension of fearful expectations

I have been skeptical, given Joe Biden's mouth discipline, that he was chosen as Obama's Veep because he could be an "attack dog." Here's some evidence that I'm justified. Why else would David Axelrod send a puppy on exactly the wrong misson?

Barack Obama on Sarah Palin's executive experience:
“Well, my understanding is that Governor Palin’s town of Wasilla has, I think, 50 employees. We’ve got 2,500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe $12 million a year. You know, we have a budget of about three times that just for the month. So I think that our ability to manage large systems and to execute I think has been made clear over the last couple of years,” Obama said.
If Barack Obama is going to compare being Mayor of Wasilla to his own experience, he should be reminded that the analogy is only accurate when we compare being Mayor of Wasilla to being a "Community Organizer" who got his start from Chicago-machine pols, unrepentant home-grown terrorists and foaming at the mouth racist pastors.

OTOH, if we're impressed with what Obama's done as titular head of a campaign whose senior staff (Samantha Power, Austan Goolsbee, Jim Johnson, Robert Malley, and Mazen Asbahi) have to keep resigning, maybe we should be voting for Axelrod, who is actually running the Obama campaign. Obama's just the "talent." He reads the teleprompter. The "Mayor of Wasilla" condescension meme is Axelrod's.

Or, maybe we should consider Obama's executive prowess in light of other mentors and promoters (Jeremiah Wright, Antonin Rezko and William Ayers). Or, maybe we should consider what he says about the staff he's managing when he screws up. The wheels of this bus are spinning in the greasy remains of those thrown under it.

If Obama's argument is that managing a successful campaign is evidence of Presidential credentials, I guess we'll have to wait and see if he's elected and what he does then. At the moment, it's pure speculation. Even if it makes sense in the first place.

If running a presidential campaign qualifies you to be President, the Dream Ticket would be Harold Stassen, and either Lyndon LaRouche or Pat Paulsen. ( Paulsen is the only candidate ever endorsed by The Other Club.)

If we're talking about change we'd have to talk about Sarah Palin taking on the worst elements of her own party and winning, compared to "taking on" the Chicago political establishment as a supplicant. I guess that covers ethics and political judgment, too, without even having to mention that we'd have withdrawn, in defeat, from Iraq a year ago if we'd followed Obama's judgment.

If we're talking about comparing VP candidates (and isn't Obama the Democrat nominee for President?), what has serial plagiarizer Joe Biden done in his 35 years as Senator to compare with Sarah Palin's accomplishments? He helped torpedo Judge Bork, and in 2 presidential runs garnered about 1/2 percent of the Democrat primary vote. Oh, and bloviated incessantly when his foot wasn't obstructing his airway. For example, Biden described his running-mate thusly, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man,” and further said that Obama lacked the experience to be President, "The Presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training." Then he got the job as coach.

Senator Obama, the Democrat candidate for President, thinks he has a slight edge in experience over Governor Palin, the Republican candidate for Vice President. He says this is true because Palin only had 50 employees as mayor of Wasilla, AK. This seems condescending and willfully ignorant, since while Obama has been campaigning for President the last two years, Palin has been running a state. Here's a time-line comparison of executive responsibilities courtesy of Sloanasaurus at Ann Althouse's blog:

1994-1996 Palin Mayor staff of 50 Budget of $12 million

1994-1996 Obama - Part time law professor and comunity organizer. No staff no budget.

1996-2002 Palin Mayor - staff of 50, budget of $12 million

1996-2002 Obama state senate - staff of ? less than 5.

2003-2004 Palin chair of the Alaska oil and gas commission staff of 25, budget of $5 million

2003-2004 Obama state senate

2005-2006 Obama - U.S. Senate office. staff of maybe 50.

2005-2006 Palin - running for governor, assume very little staff.

2007-2008 Palin staff of 25,000 budget of $12 billion

2007-2008 Obama running for president staff of 2500 (not all paid I assume).
So what are we to make of the fact that Obama keeps telling us he would make a better V.P. than Palin? Especially since that seems highly questionable.